Data protection has long been a debated subject, with consumers becoming more and more concerned about how their personal data is stored and used.
There have been various scandals in the news regarding data protection breaches and they are not limited to small businesses either. In 2013, Sony were fined around £250k for serious data protection breach through their playstation network, proving just how seriously the ICO are now taking these cases. A huge amount of personal data is stored online, from names and addresses to bank information, credit card details and even hospital records, which is why tougher regulation is being introduced to protect the public against these types of data breaches.
The DMA finds a lack of conformance to data protection
The DMA have recently revealed startling figures that highlight that 1 in 3 businesses are not preparing for the clamp down on data protection and seem oblivious to the consequences. In a survey carried out by the DMA on a 150 senior agencies, suppliers and client-side practitioners, only 67% of those surveyed stated that preparing for the data protection changes was a priority! It would seem that for many businesses, their reluctance to prepare is linked to their concerns regarding the reformation, with 95% of those surveyed stating that they believe the new regulation will be weighted unfairly against businesses.
However, the DMA has warned that simply ignoring the regulations is not going to have a positive effect on businesses. They will be susceptible to fines for non-compliance as well as a loss of business as consumers become more hesitant about who they choose to share their details with.
What do the new regulations mean for businesses
The new regulations will apply to all EU Member States and once enforced, they will apply to all businesses and corporations that hold personal data of any kind. There are a variety of ways that a data breach can happen, from wireless network breaches to employee breaches, but each case will soon be taken as seriously as any as the ICO clamp down on how data is stored. If businesses wish to avoid fines and a loss of consumer trust, then they have to change how they handle their data to comply.
The ICO will have the authority to audit businesses and corporations to ensure their security against a data protection breach is up to date and compliant with the new EU Regulations. Those that aren’t compliant are risking their business as the ICO can fine you up to £500k just for non-compliance. Even if your business can afford to pay the fine, the damage to your branding and consumer trust is unlikely to be recovered.
Image Credit: The U.S. National Archives